Archive for March, 2013
As mentioned in our last two reports, Ridge Vineyards VP of Vineyard Operations, David Gates and Ridge Regional Sales Manager, Christina Donley visited southeastern Michigan quite recently on business. It’s no secret that we love Mr. Ridge, so Kim decided that it would be great fun to host a dinner party for them both. We consider Christina to be part of the family here at Gang Central, but this was our first meeting with David, who turns out to be a really easy-going, mellow kind o’ guy. We were also joined by our good friend and wine biz colleague, Rebecca Poling. She’s family too!
The theme was an all pork dinner with Kim and Anne’s cured products, starting with a charcuterie platter with coppa, prosciutto and lonzino (loin), prosciutto wrapped asparagus with truffle butter, grilled eggplant/loin/cheese sandwiches and a stinky cheese. The second course was pasta carbanara with guanciale (cheek). The third course consisted of pressed pork belly with king trumpet mushrooms, sauce and cannellini beans dressed in a black olive vinaigrette with spinach and basil. Dessert was dark chocolate and a 1993 Ridge Essence.
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My habits have changed drastically over the past three or four years; as Buddy Miles sang with Santana back in the day, “Well my mind is goin’ through them changes.” My life has been all about singing, playing, writing and performing, since daughter Rosie took us to Rothbury back in 2009 and reminded me who and what I really am. For instance, I didn’t watch a lot of hockey last year; hell I didn’t watch much TV, period, and still don’t. I often monitored my Detroit Red Wings games on with the sound down, while I worked on tunes and technique, but I also missed many, and didn’t watch a complete game until the playoffs came around, few as those turned out to be.
I do still love fine wine, however, and in the last several days, I realized that I still love to watch hockey. After not looking at a single game during this lockout-shortened season, I tuned in on all three of the Red Wings’ western Canada road trip this past week, and, in taking the time to relax and watch the action, I was reminded again and again why it’s such a great sport. It’s fast, it’s rough and it’s exciting in a way that no other game is for me. Yes, a lot of the names have changed since I paid close attention, most notably Nicklas Lidstrom, who decided to cash in on a Hall of Fame kind o’ 20-year career in the NHL. Still, there’s the solid core of Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Kronwall, Franzen and Cleary remaining from the 2007-08 Stanley Cup Champion team, and they’re just as much fun to watch as ever. I plugged right into the culture again, and it felt like home. My boys taking 2 out of 3 games didn’t hurt, either, but I did notice that we need a bigger TV…
With all of this, it seemed like the perfect time to revive the Red Wings and Red Rhônes tradition, so here we go. I didn’t actually drink these wines while watching those games, but tasting three fine Rhônes in such close time proximity with my renewed enthusiasm for Red Wings hockey works for me, so that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.
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Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon introduces A Tasting of Ridge Vineyards, with Special Guest David Gates, VP of Vineyard Operations on February 27, 2013 at Plum Market in West Bloomfield, Michigan. The comprehensive line-up included Ridge Zins from the 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2006 vintages, including “East Bench”, “Ponzo”, “Geyserville” and “York Creek” as well as the Paso Robles bottling. The winery sent super-special treats: yet-to-be-released 2011 Paso Robles, Geyserville and Estate Chardonnay. And 1995 “Monte Bello” Cabernet Sauvignon, arguably California’s most historic vineyard! Ridge has not shown this vintage at a public tasting since it was debuted in 1998.